To What Extent Does Social Class Remain an Important Factor in Voting Behaviour?

656 Words3 Pages
To what extent does social class remain an important factor in voting behaviour? (25 marks) Social class plays a significant importance in voting behaviour. However, other factors are showing an ever increasing importance today, such as, class dealignment, party policies, ethnicity and region issues. When voting analysis began in 1945 it became clear that social class was the most important factor in the way that people traditionally voted. People tended to vote according to their natural class. People are usually broken down by social class, this will explain the social class influences on voting behaviour: A – Upper-class professional B – Intermediate professional C1 – Skilled non-manual, supervisory C2 – Skilled manual D – Unskilled working class E – Unwaged, low waged From the 1940's to the 1960's, the majority of the electorate were strongly linked to one or the other of two main political parties. Although, there are always exception as party loyalty closely corresponded to social class. However, class dealignment, a weakening relationship between social class and party support, has been evident for some years now. The evidence supporting the class dealignment thesis may be seen in the fall if the majority voting for their natural class. For instance, the percentage not voting for their natural class increased from 44% in 1987 to 64% in 1996. Moreover, in 1997, 61% of the DE social class voted for Labour whereas in 2001 it had decreased to 50%, therefore demonstrating that class dealignment shows a weakening relationship between social class and party support. In the mid 1960's, B voters supporting Conservative and C1 and 2 voters supporting Labour accounted for 64% of the total vote. But the 1970's saw a decline in the number of people voting according to their natural class. By 1978, this had fallen to 57% of the total

More about To What Extent Does Social Class Remain an Important Factor in Voting Behaviour?

Open Document